Hillbrow at Johannesburg faces darkness with such ferocity; lights clamor over each other’s shoulder holding a falling sun, for here there can never be any nights. Forever evenings scream in shrill rejoinder, a clay complexioned Ethiopian girl with along neck revises proximity from a cabaret number. Men from Abuja listen with shaking heads, some even recite silently. Colors of evening find asylum on foreign surfaces. The scarred white girl rolls her eyes and gives voice to expanding vessels. Living is defiance. Illumination is not just a street here and curtains part revealing revelry of age old explanation. It cannot be the same as it was at Gwalior or even Old Delhi. Each living stays far behind in closed alleys and assembling those, leaves footsteps that cannever return.
Extract from: Stranger than a Sun, Poems and Drawings – Collection of Prose poems and Drawings
Amitabh Mitra is a visual artist, poet and a medical doctor based in East London South Africa. He heads the Department of Emergency Medicine at a hospital in the township of Mdantsane. Stranger than a Sun is a semiautobiographical collection of prose poems and drawings.